Aside from other firms, companies like storage maker Western Digital, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and Apple mobile chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) have all been named as potential bidders seeking a stake in Toshiba’s memory business.
According to a new report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times, quoted by DigiTimes, Foxconn and TSMC are joining forces in an attempt to acquire a majority stake in Toshiba’s NAND flash business. A successful bid by the two Apple suppliers may pose a great challenge to Samsung Electronics’ leadership in the flash memory market.
The two companies’ bidding team is currently in Japan aggressively preparing for document submission prior to the first-round bidding on March 29. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou was quoted as saying that demand for flash storage will start rising as the 8K resolution era arrives.
He promised to keep all Toshiba’s key NAND technologies in Japan and underscored that Foxconn is willing to assist Toshiba using the same business strategy it adopted for its partnership with Sharp, meaning Toshiba should not have any concerns about competition partnering with Foxconn.
Foxconn assembles products for Apple and a number of other Western companies and is currently the largest storage equipment maker worldwide. As we explained before, Toshiba is looking to spin off its NAND flash unit into a separate company after reporting a massive $6.3 billion loss, with the split to become effective on April 1, 2017.
The conglomerate will sell more than half of the planned separate entity to one or more companies as it needs money to finance its working capital. Other potential bidders include Micron Technology, Microsoft, SK Hynix and several capital funds. The Japanese company files as Apple’s leading supplier of memory chips and owns a bunch of patents related to flash memory technologies.